I like to use peat pots to start larger seeds like Zinnia, sunflower, pumpkin and squash. They really do not fit in the Bio Dome sponges. I could get one in there, but I am in the habit of placing at least 2 seeds in each unit. I hate it when I have an unsprouted sponge. It seems wasteful.
Besides, some winter squash seedlings are so large that they would out grow the biodome before the other plants were fully sprouted.
Small pots give me enough room to start 2 or 3 large seeds in each. This cuts down on the chance that I will get an unsprouted pot. I also like the fact that I can plant the entire pot in the ground. And the fact that they are available in different styles, from really small squares up to 3 inch diameter round.
Peat pots are inexpensive, although the price has increased in the last 2 years. In 2007 round 3" pots were 3 cents each. Four cents in 2008 and 5 cents in 2009. Add 10 cents for the soil mix and you get 15 cents per plant. Still, they are a bargain compared to direct seeding and letting the birds eat half a packet of seed.
Another consideration is storage. If you find that you either over purchased your garden supplies this spring or just run out of space and have leftover pots they can be stored just about anywhere. I have never seen them be affected by cold, heat or humidity. Unlike some of the methods that utilize sponges, peat pots do not get fuzzy when thrown in a drawer for the summer.
I would say peat pots are my second favorite seed starting method.
FYI for the eco-friendly with a slightly larger budget there are now pots on the market made of recycled paper and dehydrated cattle manure. They can also be planted directly into the ground, minimizing root disturbance, and are 100 percent biodegradable. Though they are not widely available locally, you can find them online.
Find great natural gardening supplies at Gardens Alive!
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